“A must-win game” after pitching well against Yomiuri

Samurai Japan left-hander Chihiro Sumida, 24, pitched two scoreless innings in his first appearance with the national team. He pitched four innings in a practice game against the Yomiuri Giants at Miyazaki Soken Stadium on Tuesday, giving up one hit and striking out three. Threw a total of 30 pitches against eight batters. It was his first appearance on the mound in 40 days after giving up three runs in eight innings against the Chiba Lotte Marines on Oct. 1.

Sumida is scheduled to start against South Korea in the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) on Sunday at the Tokyo Dome. In his postgame interview, he said, “I’m preparing well. I will contribute to the win no matter what.”

Sumida is a second-year college student who joined the Seibu Lions with the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft. He started 22 games this season, going 9-10 with a 3.44 ERA. On August 9, 먹튀검증 he tossed a nine-inning, 132-pitch, five-hit shutout against the SoftBank Hawks, striking out 11.

He throws a variety of pitches, including a curve, slider, splitter, and changeup. His changeup is powerful and has good strikeout production. He has 128 strikeouts in 131 innings pitched this season.

In the fourth inning, he struck out the side with three outs.

He got off to a good start by striking out the leadoff batter, Yuki Okada, No. 4. On a 1B2S, he threw a splitter down the left-hander’s outside, low-course for the second out. He then walked No. 5 Kishida Yukinori with a double off the left field fence. He was hit by a fastball high on the body.

He struck out No. 6 Yuasa Dai on a splitter and walked No. 7 Raito Nakayama. Threw four pitches outside to Nakayama, a left-handed hitter, that just missed the strike zone. With runners on first and second, he struck out Rike Masuda, No. 8, on a wild pitch. He threw a changeup down the middle of the plate to induce a swinging strike.

The fifth inning ended with three batters on. He got Hirokazu Kikuchi (#9) to fly out to left field and Soichiro Dateoka (#1) and Masaya Hagio (#2) to fly out to center field.

Japan head coach Hirokazu Ibata used all three starters in the first scrimmage.

Right-hander Yuji Akahoshi (24, Yomiuri) started and allowed one run on four hits in three innings, while left-hander Takahisa Hayakawa (25, Rakuten) pitched three scoreless innings of two-hit ball. Akahoshi is scheduled to start against Taiwan, Sumida against South Korea, and Hayakawa against Australia.

Right-hander Matsuya Imai (25, Seibu) will start the final game (the final or third-place game) on Sept. 19. Imai, who joined the team as a wild card, is 10-5 with a 2.30 ERA in his seventh year as a professional.

The Japanese team went 0-1 in their first exhibition game.

The APBC is open to young players 24 years old or younger (born on or after January 1, 1999) and in their third year of professional play (signed after 2021). Up to three players aged 29 or younger (born on or after January 1, 1994) can compete as wild cards.

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